What’s THIS For…! album cover
What’s THIS For…!

Killing Joke

Malicious Damage

Once again, I am asking for your help in recognizing how good Killing Joke are. This is, in my mind, a sister album to PiL’s Flowers of Romance, in that I think of it as mostly drums and yelling. That’s not really true of this album, but Paul Ferguson does set up a serious chain of mayhem on all of his toms, very little of it attached to a straight backbeat. There is keyboard and guitar and bass, though all I can remember is Jaz losing his mind through his throat and Ferguson going bubbada bubbada all the way home. One of the most wired and anxious rock records of its day, What’s This For…! is part of a real hot streak for Killing Joke (first four? five? albums).

Sasha Frere-Jones

Killing Joke’s second album managed the always hard trick of measuring up to a stellar debut, continuing to develop the striking fusion of styles they’d already hotwired to add to their portraits of a society under strain reacting to increasing fears of real apocalypse growing stronger. It kicks off with another strong album starter in “The Fall of Because,” Jaz Coleman’s commanding sense of vocals in full effect, but plenty of other great songs flesh out the listen, including the appropriately titled “Tension” and the careening gang shout funk of “Follow The Leader.”

Ned Raggett

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